Flooded counties declared disaster areas
On Friday, April 19, Governor Terry Branstad proclaimed five counties, including Washington County, as disaster areas.
This declaration gives households the chance to apply for a grant up $5000 with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of $39,060, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Residents can go to <www.dhs.iowa.gov > to get more instructions and the application for the grant.
Despite this declaration, Kalona city administrator Ryan Schlabaugh, said it’s tough to determine how many people were affected.
“We just had a lot of people with water in their basement,” Schlabaugh said. “We had sump pumps that didn’t run for quite some time due to the drought and a lot of residents found out they didn’t work anymore.”
The volunteer fire department assisted residents with pumping out their basements and the city loaned some submersible pumps to residents, Schlabaugh said. A few flood cleanup kits are still available to residents.
Schlabaugh also said businesses on Highway 1, CS Autobody and Kalona Tire, were impacted by the floodwaters.
“We had people sandbagging at CS Autobody,” Schlabaugh said. “There was also a storage shed south of CS Autobody that requested some sandbags.”
Schlabaugh said he had heard that CS Autobody didn’t have water inside their building. He wasn’t sure if Kalona Tire had floodwaters reach the inside of its building.
Wellman city administrator Nicholas Pacha said Wellman did pretty well.
Pacha said the sewage and water plant wasn’t damaged from the flooding.
“They became islands for a time,” Pacha said. “I think we came through it pretty good.”
A couple of streets in Wellman were closed last week because of the flooding but most were back open again, Pacha said.
He has also heard from some residents.
“We heard from some folks requesting flood cleanup kits,” Pacha said. “A few residents had some sewage backup, too.”
In Riverside, the ball fields had received some damage, Riverside city administrator Rusty Rogerson said. A part of a fence is missing. People from the Riverside Ball Association have already begun cleaning up.
Washington County maintenance foreman JP VanSickle said there are still a few roads closed in the county. According to VanSickle, 125th Street between Maple and Nutmeg is closed until further notice. McKain’s River Access is also closed but expected to open soon.